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Health officials ponder farm’s dead animal toll

Viernes 6 de julio de 2007 · 1322 lecturas

Health officials ponder farm’s dead animal toll
HEALTH

CHARLES MANDEL - CANWEST NEWS SERVICE

Rabbits, goats - even a horse - are among the roughly 100 animals to mysteriously die at a Nova Scotia farm in the past five years. And with the recent deaths of a number of wild birds at the farm, the Natural Resources Department has stepped in and sent one of the animal carcasses to the Atlantic Veterinary College for testing.

But after years of questions, Paula White believes she may have found the cause: a cellphone relay tower erected beside the farm. A tenant on the farm for the last two years, White said the farm’s owner purchased the property about a year before the cell tower went up. Before the tower, the farm’s owner - who. White wouldn’t identify - never experienced problems.

"When that tower went up, he ended up losing his animals little by little," the Annapolis County woman said yesterday.

While domestic birds sang and a rooster crowed in the background, White outlined a litany of deaths on the farm. She described a dog staggering around and then keeling over, and spoke of a goat suddenly dying from a seizure. Four years ago, a horse fell over on its side, never to recover.

How many animals have died? "You couldn’t count them," White said. Over the winter, she filled a large truck box with the bodies of rabbits and birds.

It’s the latter that’s attracted the attention of the province’s Natural Resources Department. Upon hearing of robins, finches and other song birds dying at the property, department officials requested that the farm owner send an animal for testing to the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown.

College vets will conduct tests on a guinea pig that died at the farm, but it could be weeks before they have answers.

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